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News Summary: Eurozone recession deepens

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2012 file photo containers are piling at the harbor in Duisburg, Germany. The German economy shrank by a larger-than-expected 0.6 percent in the final quarter in 2012, official figures showed Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in a clear sign that the European financial crisis took its toll on the continent's largest economy. The quarterly decline was primarily due to a drop in exports as demand weakened from other European nations, many of which are in recession, the Federal Statistical Office said. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

GERMANY, TOO: Output in Europe's biggest economy, Germany, contracted by more than anticipated in the last three months of 2012 as the recession deepened across the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.

GRIM NUMBERS: The EU's statistics office said the eurozone's economic output shrank by 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012 from the previous three-month period. The decline was the steepest since 2009, when the global economy was in its deepest recession since World War II.

THE OUTLOOK: There are hopes, though, that the fourth quarter of 2012 will mark the low point for the eurozone, and Germany in particular. Many economists are predicting that the eurozone recession may end in the first half of the year.